This morning, Dave and BeckyLynn Black met with our church. They told us about their work in Ethiopia and invited us to partner with them. Specifically, they talked about their work in Burji, Gondor, and Alaba. They would like for us to pray about continuing to help the churches in the Alaba area of Ethiopia.
During the meeting, BeckyLynn showed us some slides and videos of their previous work in Ethiopia. In order for us to view the presentation, we had to set our chairs up in rows. After only a few months of setting the chairs in circles, arranging the chairs in rows seems very strange. But, it was necessary this morning.
After the meeting, Dave and BeckyLynn invited anyone who was interested in going to Ethiopia next July to meet with them for a few minutes. Twelve of us met with them, but they said they only had room for four people to go. So, over the next few months, we’ll be praying about which four to send. We hope this will be a deepening of our relationship with the churches in the Alaba area of Ethiopia.
This is what Dave said about our meeting on his blog (today at 4:38 p.m. – you can see a few pictures there as well):
Rumor has it that the bigger the church, the better. That noses and nickels matter most. It’s a rumor, folks. You’ll be delighted to know that God uses churches of all sizes and shapes — big and small. Today we met with a fascinating, radiant Christian community called Messiah Baptist Church. This small church is breaking down Everest-sized barriers in the community by simply being the hands and feet of Jesus to their neighbors. Wow! Folks, isn’t it about time we got back to the Bible’s way of moving people toward Christ?
But there I go preaching again. The real point of this post is to say how much Becky and I enjoyed our time at Messiah this morning. As always. Becky was phenomenal as she presented what the Lord Jesus is doing in Burji, Gondar, and Alaba. Afterwards we had a pow-wow with anyone interested in possibly coming with us next July. Would you believe that about half of the adults in the congregation attended? Just talking with them fired me up about reaching the lost and sacrificing my time and talents for the Muslims, the animists, and the Orthodox of Ethiopia.
Our being at Messiah today was no accident. I firmly sense in my spirit that the time has come for them to send a team along with us. I sense in this congregation the glory of God. The glory of God is not something to mess around with. To replace it with a lesser glory is nothing but idolatry. Here is, I sense, a group of simple followers of Jesus who are heaven-bent on reaching the community around them — and the world — with the love of Christ. We’re co-laborers for God. As iron sharpens iron, I would love to spend time in Ethiopia with some of the people of Messiah.
So we’ll see whom the Lord appoints to come with us. Meanwhile, if you’re a redemptive person, thank the Lord for giving you that desire. All of us are commissioned by Jesus to prepare webs of relationships whereby others come to know Him. This next week would be a good time for me to reach out to lost scholars, lost students, gas station attendants — whomever! — with a smile and maybe (as the Lord opens the door) with a loving word about Jesus. Wow, do I love the Gospel. Like a good steak, let it sizzle, hiss, and spit!
While I appreciate the kind words about our little assembly of Jesus-followers, and I certainly hope that we demonstrate the glory of God to one another and to our community, I must say that I heartily agree with Dave at one point in particular: their being with the believers who are part of Messiah today was no accident! I’ve talked with several brothers and sisters, and God used the Blacks this morning to rekindle our hearts to proclaim to the gospel in our neighborhoods, our city, our country, and our world!